Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Your Story

20111003 201444 Dont Be Afraid to Tell Your Story

I’m disappointed.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about something that happened in my life. It would be silly to try and deny that I was nervous and fearful about sharing it. I knew it would shake people and ruffle feathers.

For two years I’d held on to my story, afraid to tell it.

Ultimately, on that post, there were two unsupportive commenters (and several people who ‘unfriended’ me). One had a confrontational tone, whose intention, I imagine, was meant to embarrass me. I easily shrugged that one off.

But it was the second one that, months later, I still find myself pondering and tossing around in my mind.

I was told that some things do not belong on blogs and that my post was one of those things.

My story had no place on a blog. Even my own blog.

…insert long pause…

I had many thoughts about that comment and still do, because ultimately, the post wasn’t just about telling that particular story, but about the fear that I felt in writing it.
In telling my own truth.
My story.

And why?

Because… I was afraid that it would make others angry at me.
Or not like me.

{hate me.}

Do you know what?

Out of the hundreds of emails, comments, texts, tweets and phone calls I received, all but those two were able to relate in some way and applaud me for having the courage to write what I did.

Despite my fear.

Some of those people may not have even agreed with what I wrote; I don’t know… But they supported my right to tell my story and didn’t try to make me feel badly about doing so.

Why?

Because it was my story to tell.

From my perspective.
About my own experience.
Through self-examination.

When all was said and done, the story wasn’t even about what that commenter implied and was pissed off about. But rather it was about sharing something so that others could maybe… hopefully… learn from something I’d experienced.

I will always shake my head at that comment. But I will continue to tell my stories.

Despite the feathers they may ruffle or the way people may be made uncomfortable.

Not everything looks pretty from every angle, but everyone has a right to tell their own story.

And you should tell your own.
Without fear.
Without anxiety.

Unless you are making up your stories and selling them as ‘truth’.

In that case… you’re on your own.

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Comments

  1. yes. just…yes.

  2. Our stories (our history) are at the heart of who we are. To lock it up inside or hide them denies our true self and others the opportunity to know who we really are.

    You inspire me to quiet the fear. I will always applaud you.

    • I so agree with you, Chris. I am always trying to look over these things in self-examination. That’s how I learn and grow and understand myself more.

      That was at the core of what stunned me most about that comment – to try and deny the opportunity to understand something more is just wrong.

      I look forward to reading your story one day.

  3. Love this short story Karla. Makes me think of mine.

    Raf
    Author of No Story, No Fans

  4. Love this short story Karla. Makes me think of mine.

    Raf S
    Author of No Story, No Fans

  5. I enjoy reading your stories Karla. Always have since I first met you and Randy. We won’t all agree on some things all of the time however, never be afraid to speak your mind and tell your story. Like Chris said above, it’s how we tell others about ourselves. Who we are.

    • thanks so much, Scott. I appreciate your words.

      It’s sad to think of how many stories aren’t shared or told for this reason…

  6. Saw this mentioned on The Artist’s Road today, in Patrick’s Creativity Tweets of the Week. I’m so glad your title piqued me to come read this. And I’m so glad you didn’t let fear stop you from telling your story. I don’t understand that commenter either – but it sounds like a projection of his or her own stuff onto you. Everyone else obviously got that you were taking a risk to share. And that gives others with the same feelings or experiences the reminder that they’re not alone.

    Now I hope I can find that post here on your site. Would love to read it.

    ~ Milli

  7. Ah, good. There’s a link to it in your post above. Thanks :)

  8. When truth overcomes fear, glory is realized. There’s so much pressure (EVERYwhere) for individuals to be like someone (everyone) else. When you take a stand, take a risk, it puts you out there for the crowd to boo and hiss and hate on. But the fact is it makes you the brave one.

    The most beautiful thing about you (and your story) is your grace. I know if I was telling the story, if it was mine to tell, I’d be more angry and bitter. You though? You rock.

    • it really is a scary thing to do… and I am so grateful for the support you have given me as I’ve done so. Thank you for your words.
      xo

  9. I’m always completely unaware of all the things that go on behind the scenes in the bloggy community. So, without commenting on the particulars (which I don’t know), I agree with your message! You tell your story and your truth and be proud of that!

  10. “But rather it was about sharing something so that others could maybe… hopefully… learn from something I’d experienced.”

    I don’t even think you have to rationalize it with that statement. If something is your story, you can tell it. Sure, there might be feathers ruffled. and people might be pissed. But it is still your story.

  11. Karla, Someone who says that certain content doesn’t “belong on a blog” doesn’t really GET the concept of blogs and self-publishing at all. I remember the post you’re referring to, and I thought it was courageous and eye-opening. Kudos to you!

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  1. Waiting says:

    [...] learning to care less about that. Most of those who I thought I wanted to let in, despised me for the few times that I did share my story. Regardless of how they would have reacted in the same [...]

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